The Custer County Ag Society this week announced the headline act for this year’s Custer County Fair entertainment. Hardcore country traditionalist, Daryle Singletary, will perform Saturday, July 30, at the Custer County Fairgrounds.
“When I moved to Nashville in 1990, I left Georgia telling my Daddy, ‘I want to make my living in country music,’” Daryle recalls. “I didn’t tell him I wanted to be played on the radio every day or be on the video channel every day. I said, ‘I want to make a living playing for the people who enjoy my kind of music.’ Fortunately and thankfully, I have been able to do that since 1995.”
Fair organizers have made a number of changes in the schedule for the 2011 Custer County Fair, one of the most significant being the move of the concert from its traditional Tuesday night slot to Saturday. The concert will begin at 9 p.m., following the parade.
“We’ve been very fortunate to stay on the road, year in, year out,” says Daryle. “I continue to work and continue to build a fan base. There are still people out there who want to hear traditional country music. I’ve been fortunate to be able to always keep it real and not have to compromise. I can’t ask for nothin’ better, I don’t guess.”
Singletary earned his notoriety for country authenticity with such unforgettable hits as “I Let Her Lie,” “Too Much Fun,” “Amen Kind of Love” and “The Note.” His new album Rockin’ In The Country further polishes his reputation for finding brilliantly written country songs and singing them to perfection. “Love You With The Lights On,” the collection’s first single, is as romantic a love ballad as he has ever sung. “That’s Why God Made Me” is a classic country story song. The unusual lyric of “Going Through Hell” makes it an album standout.
On past albums, some of the greatest talents in his industry have lined up to sing with Daryle, including George Jones, Dwight Yoakam, Johnny Paycheck, Merle Haggard, Ricky Skaggs, John Anderson and Rhonda Vincent. Rhonda returns to sing harmonies on Rockin’ In The Country, alongside her award-winning brother Darrin Vincent of the bluegrass group Dailey & Vincent. On the album’s title tune, Grand Ole Opry superstar Charlie Daniels is Daryle’s celebrity collaborator.
Daryle is from rural Georgia. His father is a postal worker and his mother is a hair dresser. They sang gospel music on weekends. By the time he reached his teens, Daryle was a rabid country music fan, enthralled by the sounds of Keith Whitley, George Strait and one of his all-time favorites, Randy Travis.
He moved to Nashville in the fall of 1990 and made the rounds of Music City’s nightclub talent contests, picking up $100 here and there. Producers Greg and Chuck began playing in his band at a club called The Broken Spoke. Daryle recorded a pair of singles for the independent label Evergreen Records in 1992, but neither was a success. In the meantime, he was badgering his idol with letters. After members of the Randy Travis band heard Daryle at The Broken Spoke, they urged the star to listen, too.
With Randy as his co-producer, Daryle Singletary issued his debut album on Giant Records in 1995. It included the career-launching singles “I’m Living Up to Her Low Expectations,” “I Let Her Lie,” “Too Much Fun” and “Workin’ It Out.” Traditional honky-tonk fans shouted “Hallelujah!” in response. Daryle’s second album, issued in late 1996, featured “Amen Kind of Love,” “The Used to Be’s” and “Even the Wind.” His third, which appeared in 1998, included “The Note,” “That’s Where You’re Wrong” and “My Baby’s Lovin.”
The voice you hear saying, “Y’all come back now,” at the finale of “They Know How to Grow ‘Em,” belongs to Daryle’s Georgia-born wife, Holly. They married in 2003 and moved back to their home state in 2008.
“It was definitely a tough decision to make,” Daryle says. “I’d been in Nashville for so long, and all my friends are there. I still miss Nashville, so we try to come and visit once a month. I always said I’d never move back home. But my priorities have changed considerably since I was a kid who moved to Nashville. My wife and I want to start a family, and what better place to raise kids than around their grandparents? That’s what kind of made up our minds.”
The Singletarys raise horses and crops on their small farm. Holly works as a nurse. Daryle says, “Without my wife Holly, I don’t know where I would be at this point in my life”. When he’s not on the road singing, Daryle Singletary is an avid hunter, competitive roper and outdoorsman.
“I am also, still, a huge country-music fan,” he adds. “I have such a passion for it. I still go to see Merle Haggard and George Jones concerts. I still get chill bumps hearing Randy Travis sing.”
“Like I say, I’ve been very fortunate. I just wanted to make a living doing something I love to do. I’m by no means a millionaire, but I make a living singing what I love, honest country music.”